Off-duty border patrol agent uses bowling ball to save man in burning car

"That ball saved his life," said Border Patrol Agent John Leslie


By Kyle Davidson
Detroit Free Press

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — An off-duty border control agent rescued a man from a burning car in Farmington Hills on Saturday night, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release.

At about 10 p.m. Saturday night, Border Patrol Agent John Leslie was traveling down Northwestern Highway south of 13 Mile Road when he noticed a burning vehicle on the side of the road. Leslie, a trained EMT, rushed to see whether anyone was injured, U.S. Customs said.

Two men told Leslie that the driver was trapped inside the vehicle, which caught fire after colliding with a tree. As the flames continued to grow, Leslie crawled inside the vehicle to attempt to remove the driver. Because of the damage to the vehicle, Leslie was unable to pull the driver out through the back seat.

As the flames and heat increased, U.S. Customs said Leslie noticed a bowling ball in the back seat, which he used to break the driver's window. After several strikes with the bowling ball, Leslie was able to reach inside, prying the door open and freeing the driver.

"If it weren't for the bowling ball, I'm not sure how I would have gotten the window smashed to get the guy out," Leslie said. "That ball saved his life," he added.

After prying the door open, Leslie and another passerby pulled the driver from the vehicle. Shortly after, an explosion engulfed the vehicle, customs said.

Leslie assessed the driver's wounds, until Farmington Hills police and firefighters arrived on scene and took control of the situation.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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